“A new chair which detects metal objects hidden inside the body is being piloted in prisons to help maintain a secure environment for staff and prisoners.
The ‘BOSS’ chair, or Body Orifice Security Scanner, is a non-intrusive scanning system designed to detect small metallic objects such as mobile phones and weapons, concealed within abdominal cavities and the shin area. The chair is able to detect many items, from large knifes to small gun components, which may be hidden by prisoners with the intention of smuggling them into establishments.
For the last 3 months the chair has been in operation at Category A prison HMP Woodhill in Buckinghamshire, proving to be successful in preventing two mobile phones and a knife from entering the prison.
Deputy Governor at HMP Woodhill Rob Davis, said:
“The BOSS III detects items which can be used by prisoners to assist in escapes, drug deals, concerted indiscipline and serious assaults on prisoners and staff.”
“By preventing mobile phones and weapons from entering we hope to create a safer environment for both staff and prisoners.
The scanner, which has now been extended to the remaining seven high-security prisons, is intended to be used in Reception as prisoners arrive but can also be used around the establishment if required.”
“According to The New York Department of Correctional Services, The New York Correctional facilities employ the use of 99 BOSS chairs throughout the city. All Correctional facilities, with the exception of a few minimum security prisons, have at least one BOSS chair. All high security prisons have at least two chairs.”
“The BOSS III chair, a Body Orifice Security Scanner, has proven successful in detecting attempts to conceal two mobile phones and one knife and prevent them from entering HMP Woodhill Prison in Buckinghamshire.
The BOSS chair is designed to scan the bodies of inmates or visitors for weapons and contraband objects. The chair provides the means to quickly and easily scan for objects that might be hidden in body orifices and eliminates the need for manual body cavity searches.
Magnetic sensors automatically scan the body for the presence of metal such as: handcuff keys, shanks, small tools, razor blades, and metal capsules used to smuggle drugs.
The chair features a chin rest and oral sensors on the back of the chair for scanning nasal cavities. Sitting in the chair scans body cavities as well as the lower abdominal area and the lower leg and foot area.
The BOSS chair eliminates the need for inmates to disrobe for body cavity searches, as it searches the body through the clothing.
The chair uses no x-rays and poses no health risks, even to pregnant women or those with pacemakers.
The BOSS III chair has been in operation at the Woodhill facility for the past three months and has now been extended to UK’s seven other high security prisons.
The intention is to use the BOSS III when inmates arrive, but it can also be used throughout the facility, when needed. The chair is fully equipped with wheels that make it extremely easy to move from one area to another. With a weight of only 86 pounds, it is fully portable and is approximately the size of a standard wheel chair.
Rob Davis the Deputy Governor at HMP Woodhill says,” The BOSS III detects items which can be used by prisoners to assist in escapes, drug deals, concerted indiscipline and serious assaults on prisoners and staff.”
“By preventing mobile phones and weapons from entering we hope to create a safer environment for both staff and prisoners.”(HM Prison Service).”